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Pakistan Crash Out of World Cup After Heavy Loss to England

Pakistan’s hopes of reaching the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2023 were dashed as they suffered a humiliating 93-run defeat against England at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, on Saturday. The defending champions, who had a shaky start to the tournament, won their last two matches convincingly and secured their place in the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy.

Chasing a daunting target of 338 runs, Pakistan lost their openers Abdullah Shafique and Fakhar Zaman cheaply to David Willey in the first three overs. Captain Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan tried to steady the innings with a 64-run stand, but both fell in quick succession to leave Pakistan reeling at 100-4 in the 23rd over.

Salman Ali Agha showed some resistance with a fighting half-century, but none of the other batsmen could support him as Pakistan collapsed to 244 all out in 43.3 overs. Haris Rauf and Mohammad Wasim Jr. added some late fireworks with a 53-run partnership, but it was too little too late for the Green Shirts.

Willey was the pick of the bowlers for England with three wickets, while Gus Atkinson, Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali chipped in with two each.

Earlier, England posted a mammoth total of 337-9 after opting to bat first. Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow gave them a flying start with an 80-run opening partnership. Malan scored 31 before falling to Iftikhar Ahmed, while Bairstow smashed 59 off 61 balls before being dismissed by Haris Rauf.

Joe Root and Ben Stokes then took charge of the innings and added 132 runs for the third wicket. Stokes was in sublime form as he hit 11 fours and two sixes in his 84-run knock. He was on the verge of scoring his second consecutive World Cup century, but was bowled by Shaheen Afridi in the 43rd over.

Root played a solid innings of 60 and was also removed by Afridi. Jos Buttler and Harry Brook then provided the finishing touches with some quick runs. Buttler scored 27 off 18 balls, while Brook made 30 off 17 balls.

For Pakistan, Haris Rauf claimed three wickets, but conceded 64 runs in his 10 overs. He became the bowler to leak the most runs in a single World Cup edition. Afridi and Wasim Jr. took two wickets each, while Iftikhar got one.

Pakistan ended their World Cup campaign with four wins and five losses and finished fifth in the points table with eight points. England, on the other hand, finished seventh with 6 points and qualified for the next Champions Trophy.

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